Friday, June 26, 2009

My First Time ... Reading an eBook on an iPod Touch
By Persia Walker

[Please note: This was written in the hours before Michael's death, and was set for automatic release. Thus the opening lines ... well, they're a bit ironic, aren't they?]

Surely, there must be something more pressing I could write about, right? Well, yes, I'm sure there is. But bear with me on this one. I mean, I've just undergone a certain enlightenment here and well ... I'd like to share it with you.

It was a small enlightenment to be sure. I was one of those folks who said she always, just always had to read her books in paper. I mean, reading just isn't the same, is it, when it's done on a tiny little screen. I really couldn't imagine ... not until I did it.

A good friend recently gave me an iPod Touch. It was his way of supporting this particular starving artist and it was greatly appreciated. I promptly went to the Apple Apps store, found Stanza, downloaded it and with it about 35 free books, including many of those juicy romance novels that Harlequin is giving away to celebrate its 60th anniversary, and several ebooks from Random House, including one wonderful thriller by mentor and friend Lee Child.

Well, I was shocked to find just how much fun it was to read on the iPod Touch. The screen was more than adequate. I actually finished an entire book while traveling back and forth on the subway. And I enjoyed the smallness of the device. No more books banging around in my bag. It was neat.

Then I took everything one step further. (You know, I'm always pushing the envelope!) I thought, "Wouldn't it be grand if I could read my manuscript on the iPod?" So I took a closer eye at Stanza, and found that with Stanza Desktop, I could do just that -- upload the manuscript to my iPod and read it comfortably.

But then, a little voice of doubt crept in: Why would you want to read your manuscript now, when you know it still needs revisions? And suppose you find typos? You can't even make a note of it, as you would if you were reading it on paper.

So here's where I really went for the gold. I found another delightful little app called Quickoffice. It includes a miniaturized version of Micrsoft Word, Excel and some other program I never use. You can buy them separately, but Quickoffice is offering the bundle at half price (a major deal). So I thought, Why spend $12.99 for just Word when you can spend seven dollars more and get the whole shebang? (I was feeling positively rich that day!)

My, my, my! That Quickoffice worked like a champ. I can now not only use my iPod as an external hard drive, but as a "typewriter," too. I have uploaded my manuscript to my iPod and as I ride the train, rushing back and forth, I not only review my manuscript, but edit it, as well!

I am loving it! Yes!

It's amazing how much detail -- missing words, incomplete thoughts, redundant phrases -- I can catch while reading on the iPod. These are errors that I have not been able to catch while reading on my larger laptop screen. I guess my eyes just skim over the material when reading on the laptop. They can't do that with iPod, which in contrast, acts like a magnifying glass.


Now, do I think that reading on a device will ever really replace reading on paper? Don't know. But I do know it's a very, very viable alternative.

Next thought: To not just edit, but originate a manuscript on my iPod. I know that others have already done it. And soon I'll be ready to rock that baby, too!

Oh, yeah!


angela henry said...

I love my iPod Touch and Stanza! Thanks for letting me know about Quickoffice. I can't wait to try it out ; ).

New York Times Feed

Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008

The Crime Sistahs - Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008